FOREWORD


Season 3 Premiere

08.24.2021  |  Season 3  |  Episode 1




SHOW NOTES

As the Foreword crew returns for the season three premiere, there are many new things to get excited about. They are back in the on-campus studio, which has a fresh new look. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, Josh unveils his first smartphone and ranks his favorite apps.

We are also introduced to the crew’s newest host, Dr. Fellipe do Vale, who has recently joined the Systematic Theology faculty at TEDS. Each host takes an opportunity to ask Fellipe questions ranging from his favorite TV shows to his research on the theology of gender, from his background living in Brazil and Seattle to what advice he has for ministers looking to navigate many of the truly hard things facing churches today. Along the way, the wisdom of Ted Lasso is invoked for good measure.

After, Fellipe takes over hosting duties and asks the rest of the crew a series of “Would You Rather” questions.

●      Who prefers to live in a tree house over a cave?
●      Who would rather be a reverse centaur than a reverse merman or mermaid?

Listen to find out!

To learn more about Dr. do Vale, visit his faculty page, his list of publications, or simply keep listening to future episodes!

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Transcript

Jipp
[00:00:00]
Da da da dum dum [SINGS A TUNE].

Arcadi
I’m not.

Jipp
You know that song?

Pierce
That was “25 or 6 to 4.”

Knight
That was really good, Josh.

Do Vale
“Saturday in the Park”? Is that what you’re doing there?

Jipp
Yeah…yeah, that is what it is. Yeah. Right?

Pierce
That’s “25 or 6 to 4.”

Do Vale
Oh, “25 or 6 to 4.”

Jipp
[SINGS AGAIN] Yeah, you’re right.

Do Vale
That’s the rock and role one.

Jipp
[SINGS] 25 or 6 to…Saturday…

Do Vale
[LAUGHS] Yeah.

Jipp
Let’s all sing together! [LAUGHTER]

Knight
I think we should not. [LAUGHTER]

Jipp
My goal is to, like, annoy Michelle by the end. [LAUGHS]

Knight
Crushed it! [LAUGHTER]

[THEME MUSIC INTERLUDE]

Josh Jipp
Hello, and welcome to Foreword. We’re your hosts—I’m Josh Jipp.

Madison Pierce
I’m Madison Pierce.

Fellipe do Vale
I’m Fellipe do Vale.

Michelle Knight
I’m Michelle Knight.

James Arcadi
And I’m James Arcadi.

Jipp
Well, it’s really good to be back in the studio. It’s beautiful here. [LAUGHTER]—

Arcadi
Yeah!

Jipp
—Fun to be back together, right?

Knight
All of us here, yep. And it’s looking a lot better than it has in the past.

Jipp
It looks great.

Knight
Mmhmm. Mmhmm.

Pierce
We’ve done some hard work. And we have new coffee mugs, so that’s pretty special.

Arcadi
Cheers!

Knight
[LAUGHS] Some of us have coffee and some of us don’t, but that’s ok. We’ve been there before.

Pierce
Oh no, we’ve shattered the illusion, haven’t we? [LAUGHTER]

Knight
We were supposed to be faking that, but here we are.

Pierce
[LAUGHS] Oops!

Knight
Of course, for those of you who are just listening to audio, do recognize that we’ve got a pretty sweet video setup, so you might want to check out our YouTube page because we’re looking pretty good, really—especially now that Fellipe is here. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
Wow.

Jipp
Front and center! [LAUGHTER]

Knight
A new face. But, you know, the studio isn’t the only thing that changed this summer. Something else really important happened to us.

Arcadi
Do tell, Michelle.

Knight
Josh got a smartphone.

Arcadi
What!?

Jipp
It’s true…even just, like, ten days ago.

Pierce
Yeah. It’s breaking news.

Do Vale
Can you give us a tour? Give us a tour of your phone.

Jipp
Well, I’ve got—this is what it looks like. And, um…

Knight
[LAUGHS] It’s an iPhone—to those listening.

Jipp
I’ve got “Facebook Messenger” that I use [LAUGHTER], I use “Mail”—

Pierce
I think there’s, like, three non-native apps on here.

Jipp
I use the clock.

Arcadi
Can you get “Myspace”? [LAUGHTER]

Jipp
And then I love to use this app “Health,” to see how many steps I do.

Pierce
Yeah.

Knight
Yeah, that’s really nice.

Do Vale
Can you give us a rank of your favorite apps?

Jipp
So, probably… oh, “Music.” “Music” would be number one; “Mail,” number two; “Health,” number three.

Pierce
Wow.

Knight
How do you get your music, by any chance? Do you record…do you, like, upload CD’s or, like, how are you…?

Jipp
So I have this cassette player at home [LAUGHTER], and I wait for a song to come on the radio that I like—

Knight
Sure. And you record it.

Jipp
—and then I hit “play and record.” [LAUGHTER]

Pierce
Wow.

Jipp
And then, I say, “Amber, here’s the cassette. Can you get that on my phone?” And she does it.

Knight
And she does it.

Arcadi
Old school.

Pierce
I’ve got an important question. What’s a cassette? [ARCADI LAUGHS]

Jipp
So, a cassette—it looks about like *this*, it’s a little box-type thing. How old are you again?

Pierce
I’m just joking.

Jipp
You’re not that much—

Pierce
Yeah. It was a joke. Thank you.

Knight
It was a good joke. I liked it. I do think that I have one cassette in my possession—like, I haven’t gotten rid of my—

Jipp
The one I gave you. [LAUGHTER]

Knight
Oh, then I have two! I have two! [LAUGHS] The mixtape—no, I have a mixtape.

Arcadi
Yeah!

Knight
Like, I have a legit, vintage mixtape that I made—for myself. I mean, it wasn’t a love gift.

Jipp
You better have made that for yourself. If anyone else made that, it’d be a little…

Knight
Creepy for Kenyon, probably.

Arcadi
I don’t think I have any players anymore. I mean, I have a whole, like, box of tapes, but I don’t have anything to play it on.

Knight
Yeah, I can’t play it, but someday, I’ll, like, break into a museum and get a cassette player, you know, [ARCADI LAUGHS] and then I’ll record it onto something. I don’t know. One of these days.

Jipp
I do just want to say it was not my plan to get a smartphone. It was—they basically made all the other phones obsolete except one for people with visual impairment.

Do Vale
The Jitterbug, right? [LAUGHS]

Jipp
I don’t know what it is [DO VALE LAUGHS], but it’s like this huge flip phone with, like, huge numbers. And it was either go to that or get a smartphone, and Amber came home with a smartphone, so…

Knight
I just feel like this makes our lives easier.

Pierce
So much easier.

Knight
It’s only a little bit about you. It’s really just, like…

Jipp
I’m still the one controlling the phone.

Knight
I know.

Jipp
I…we’ll see. Let’s revisit this in a year. Yeah.

Arcadi
We’ll see. It might control you—that’s the problem.

Knight
Yeah. [LAUGHTER]

Jipp
That’s my fear.

Pierce
Love it.

Arcadi
Well, today, we are so excited to talk about Josh’s phone. [LAUGHTER] Just kidding. We’re also really excited to introduce a new member of the podcast team, Fellipe do Vale. Today, we’re going to be focusing a bit more on introducing him, getting to know him, and, yeah, kind of introducing him to our listener and viewer audience. So, Fellipe is a new professor here at TEDS—just starting off this fall—but he’s not new to TEDS. He did his two master’s degrees here in church history and in systematic theology, is that right?

Do Vale
That’s right. That’s right.

Arcadi
Previously before that, did undergrad at Calvin University, and most recently finished his PhD at Southern Methodist University in systematic theology and ethics—is that kind of roughly the area?

Do Vale
Yeah, roughly. Yeah.

Arcadi
Yeah, roughly. But you’re a Brazilian by native—native Brazilian—spent a lot of time in the Pacific Northwest, but maybe a bit more time recently in these central states here in the United States. So I’m excited to have you a part of my department. It’s great to have a systematic theologian here on this team to balance out the New Testament components here. [LAUGHTER] Sorry, Michelle, that you’re getting a little more isolated here—

Knight
It’s cool. It’s really fine. It’s cool.

Arcadi
—in your interdisciplinary area. But, no, we’re really excited to have you around here. And so, I’m just kind of curious, Fellipe, if you might just start off talking to us a little bit about your academic journey, like kind of what led you into studying theology and going on and doing a PhD and coming to teach in a seminary.

Do Vale
[00:05:21] Yeah. Thanks, James. I should say, too, it’s a huge privilege to be here. It’s…everybody’s so lovely, so kind, so hospitable, and I’ve been really grateful. I really can’t believe it still—it still feels like I’m in a dream. But yeah, I…so like you said, I was born in Brazil to sort of a—you know, I think I would have called myself “nominally Christian.” I kind of grew up in a Catholic home, but, you know, for a lot of it, it was just sort of in the air, not so much in practice. When I moved to the United States, I was seven years old—moved to Seattle, Washington, so the Pacific Northwest is an area that I know quite well. But, you know, with different things going on, moving to a new country, any kind of religion that was in my life sort of faded away, and I think to the point where I would say I was an atheist until about high school. And then, in high school, I was in a band. I was a guitarist for a band.

Arcadi
Yeah! Weren’t we all?

Knight
Yeah, we’ve all been there. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
[LAUGHS] But, the drummer…so the drummer for my band invited me to a youth group all-nighter, and that is probably the least effective evangelistic tool you can imagine, but it worked on me! Maybe I was just really willing.

Arcadi
Alright! Praise God!

Do Vale
But yeah, and that’s where I began to learn what Christianity was all about. And it was through Bible study at that church. And then from then, I just sort of—I was always…I really enjoyed reading, really enjoyed teaching, really enjoyed writing, and so naturally, I found myself in this kind of position. And I love it so far, you know, so I’m really excited. So that’s…yeah, how I got into it, and then I did a degree in philosophy at Calvin.

Arcadi
Ok, cool.

Do Vale
And I kind of was like, “You know, I thought maybe I could go into philosophy.” And then I realized that I only like philosophy insofar as it allows me to talk about God. And so I had a really wise mentor who said to me, “Maybe you should just be a theologian.” And I was like, “Well, yeah, that sounds…I didn’t know you could do that.” And so then I learned about that and came to TEDS, did two MAs, did a—fun fact, I did one thesis for two MAs.

Arcadi
Nice.

Do Vale
I had to get special permission to do a thesis that was twice as long, which I did in one summer. Uh, yeah…

Arcadi
Students, note: It’s possible to do. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
It is. It’s maybe not advisable. I didn’t see sunlight that summer. But yeah, so then, yeah, it’s sort of a homecoming to be back at TEDS. It’s really pleasant.

Arcadi
Yeah! Well it’s awesome to have you here.

Do Vale
Thanks.

Pierce
Well, I think I get to ask a kind of fun “get to know you” question. So this might seem trivial, but to me, and I think to you, it’s actually a really important question. So what are some of your favorite shows?

Do Vale
Yeah, there is no more important question.

Pierce
Right? Yeah. [KNIGHT LAUGHS]

Do Vale
Yeah…some of my favorite shows. I mean, right now, because it’s on my mind so much—Ted Lasso.

Pierce
Okay.

Do Vale
I mean, it’s early because it’s only one season, and that…the time of recording two episodes. But, my goodness! Like, is there a better crafted show that both tugs at the heartstrings and says something meaty? So anyway, it’s just brilliant. And I’m a big soccer fan, so it’s an easy way to get me into something, but, so Ted Lasso

Arcadi
What soccer team are you a fan of, Fellipe? [KNIGHT LAUGHS]

Do Vale
You know, James, it’s funny you mention this. Have you heard—have you, James Arcadi, heard of Liverpool Football Club?

Arcadi
I have! I have indeed.

Do Vale
That is, in fact, the team I support!

Arcadi
Go Reds!

Do Vale
Yes! TEDS is Reds. Yeah.

Arcadi
[LAUGHS] Hashtag!

Do Vale
Hashtag, yeah.

Jipp
Sweet little bromance going on here. [LAUGHTER]

Pierce
It’s very sweet.

Jipp
Just keep going, guys.

Knight
I need to know your very favorite Ted Lasso quote, ideally.

Do Vale
Oh, well, the one I have up in my office is “Be curious, not judgemental,” which, you know, originated from somebody else, but he says it in a brilliant moment in the show, which is I think a good intellectual virtue just in fact.

Knight
Love that.

Do Vale
You know, “Be curious, not judgemental.” But, recently in Season 2 there’s a new contender, where he says “All people are different people.”

Knight
Love that too.

Do Vale
And I like that too, yeah.

Knight
That’s a neat moment.

Do Vale
So Ted Lasso—that’s a big one. And then I…I mean, the big one is The Office, Parks and Rec, that kind of thing. I mean, I think I’ve seen those so many times that if you cut me open, it would be Office quotes. [KNIGHT LAUGHS] Yeah, I quite like those. I’m trying to think of things that are a bit more serious…I don’t watch a ton of serious T.V.—other than Liverpool. I take that quite seriously. And that’s on T.V., you know?

Pierce
Oh, of course. Of course. I have an important follow up, though. Like, The Office or Parks and Rec? Like, if you could only pick one.

Do Vale
If I could only pick…goodness!

Pierce
And follow up with who is your favorite character in that show. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
Oh my word!

Jipp
“And also…”

Pierce
I have a six part question. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
[00:09:56] Now… you’re asking the hard-hitting questions today. Office or Parks and Rec? Um…

Pierce
This is serious journalism.

Do Vale
I think I remember…oh my goodness. There are fewer moments that make me want to, like, walk out of a room in Parks and Rec.

Pierce
[LAUGHS] The Office is so cringy! Yes.

Do Vale
Like, I feel more comfortable showing my in-laws Parks and Rec, so maybe that gives it an advantage. What would be my favorite character on Parks and Rec? Oh, you know, it’s gotta be Ben White.

Pierce
Me too!

Jipp
Really?

Pierce
Yes! Yes! I was going to say that. That’s so weird, but that’s my absolute favorite. I love Ben White.

Do Vale
Yeah, yeah. I think I can identify with him probably closest.

Pierce
Me too, yeah. I love that.

Do Vale
Yeah, no, I think those are the big ones. Those are the big ones.

Pierce
Okay. Wow. I don’t know how you all can follow that up, but by all means.

Jipp
No, it’s tough. What’s the guy that’s like…he’s always coming in being like, “The worst!”

Pierce
Oh, that’s Jean-Ralphio. He’s amazing.

Jipp
I think of myself as Jean-Ralphio. [LAUGHTER]

Pierce
Yeah. I don’t think that’s so weird because I think of you as Jean-Ralphio too.

Jipp
Yeah! Thanks, thanks. [LAUGHTER] Uh, alright, so let me try to lighten the mood even—no, I’m just kidding. [DO VALE LAUGHS] One of the things I’m curious about, Fellipe, is we all as professors have to make decisions in terms of, “What are we going to study?” “What are we interested in?” And I’m sure all of us can be interested in a variety of things, but I’m curious…what are some of your interests and how do you decide what you’re going to write on, or, you know, what you’re going to research on? What goes into your thought process there?

Do Vale
Yeah, that’s a good question. I…so the area in which I specialize is theology and gender. So that’s what I did my dissertation on, that’s what I do a lot of my writing and thinking about—and it seems to be one of those topics that doesn’t…there’s always something new to think about. So that’s kept me busy quite a bit. How did I get into that? It was…I was actually at Calvin, and I was taking a “Philosophy of Gender” class, which I had no idea about, and I—it was just a class that knocked out three of my degree requirements and I thought, “Oh, I’ll take that,” you know? It was kind of the slacker’s way out. But, yeah, I knocked out three of my degree requirements. I just sat in and I was stimulated by the questions being asked and also amazed that there weren’t as many Christian theologians talking about these questions in a sophisticated way, in a way that was sensitive to the concerns at hand and, yeah, I kind of felt myself gripped by those sorts of questions. There are days, though, where I wish I was working on something different, if I’m perfectly honest. Because it’s…it can be such a hard topic to work through, because you’re always dealing with—it’s never impersonal. There’s always a personal dynamic involved. And so, yeah. So I think broadly speaking, I tend to work in the intersection of theological anthropology and moral theology. And so I try—I, you know, I’ll be teaching courses on race and political theology and things like that—just, “What does it mean to be human in a way that’s, you know, informed by the sorts of social considerations that make life so complex, but also so richly textured?” But that’s…I don’t know, and I guess it’s just a curiosity—to quote Ted Lasso—I am very curious about these things, and that’s gripped me so far. I don’t know, maybe one day I’ll just up and work on something different. Like, maybe I’ll take over the Eucharist or something.

Arcadi
Sure! The more the merrier.

Do Vale
The water’s warm.

Arcadi
There’s plenty of room around the table for something like that. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
Ohhh! Good. Good.—

Knight
Ohhh! Ba-dum-ch.

Jipp
James, you’re pushing hard into that, like, old professor joke…it’s pretty good. You’re there. [LAUGHER]

Arcadi
I’m there. I’m there. Yeah. [LAUGHS]

Jipp
But most of them are kind of, like, lived experiences, it seems like, in terms of what really grabs you.

Do Vale
That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, theological anthropology is an interesting field in that there’s…there are some pretty settled questions. Like, “What’s the Image of God,” and “Do we have souls?” and “If we have souls, what are they like?” You know? But, what I’ve come to find is that when you get into the sort of—you know, the more contested issues, like gender, people tend to do one of two things: either they will just keep it at arm’s distance and not want to talk about it, not want to talk about the more recognizable features of systematic theology and theological anthropology, or they’ll want to dive straight in, but then forget the sorts of virtues that comprise the task of systematic theology. And I haven’t seen too much work—there is some—but not too much work that keeps those two interests together—namely, reading highly contested topics like gender and race in a way that’s recognizably theological—and primarily informed by the Gospel. And so that’s what…yeah, I really care about that. And that keeps me interested.

Jipp
Awesome.

Do Vale
Yeah.

Knight
Well, I was wondering a little bit about your experiences with the church and things. And I’m going to frame this question in terms of this sort of cultural moment, where so many people are kind of acknowledging and talking about the way in which the church has harmed them and how hard it can be to be a part of the church. And so my question to you is—I mean, you are in the church actively. Why are you here? Why do you keep coming back to the church? What about the church gives you hope and joy as you participate in its life?

Do Vale
[00:15:12] Yeah, that’s a great question. It is hard because, you know, we are in a moment where a lot is coming to light in terms of church impropriety.

Knight
Yeah.

Do Vale
Yeah, I mean I do get really discouraged every day. And it seems to be in every corner.

Knight
Yeah.

Do Vale
I’ve done a bit of writing on sexual assault, for instance—it’s particularly interesting to me. And it’s rampant. It’s everywhere. And it’s difficult to find a denomination that isn’t working through that kind of thing because it’s come home to roost in a significant way. So, it is—I find myself constantly discouraged, so what keeps me coming back? You know, one temptation would be to think that the way out of these things would be for us to kind of pick ourselves up by our bootstraps—and I shouldn’t say…I’ll caveat what I’m going to say by saying that it’s incredibly important to have exemplary pastors—

Knight
Of course.

Do Vale
—to whom we should look, right? But it seems to me that it would be very difficult to expect the entire church to be filled with exemplary pastors—people who are, you know, over and above. Those are going to be few and far between. So what can we expect? And, you know, one of my great heroes—and probably my favorite theologian—is St. Augustine. Now, what did St. Augustine do when he became a pastor? He became a pastor reluctantly, right? And then he became a bishop. The first thing he did was write a book where he told everybody all of his sins, you know? [KNIGHT LAUGHS] Which is terribly counterintuitive, isn’t it? But why did he do that? He did it because I think he prized—he did it for a lot of ways. He wants to interweave his story with the story of God and what God is doing in the world. But he also, I think, thought it important for Christian leaders to be transparent, vulnerable, and open about their weaknesses. And that’s what gives me hope is when I see churches that model well what it means to “boast in our weaknesses” like St. Paul tells us to do, and to—Ι understand that what we have is not a perfect society full of people who have everything together, but what we do when we get together for church is gather under a Gospel that tells us that worth and everything we are is not traceable to anything other than having received the gift of Christ. And what that does is it allows us to be open and weak and vulnerable. And so I tend to emphasize a low anthropology—an understanding of human beings under sin where we are okay with being vulnerable and weak with one another, insofar as it’s a safe thing to do. And when I see that done well, I get really excited and I get really hopeful about the church, particularly when it comes to issues of gender and the rest of it, so yeah.

Knight
Yeah, that’s really exciting.

Arcadi
Yeah, thanks for that.

Knight
Do you have a word for our students who are here, they’re preparing for ministry, they’re kind of watching this moment—and the stakes are high—do you have a word for them?

Do Vale
Yes, sure. Um, I would say…so one of the things I repeat often to churches and to anybody that kind of asks me what to do in the face of this stuff is to care about individuals. Sometimes we lose the forest—or the trees through the forest when we think about pastoral ministry. And we get so concerned about the directions in which “the culture” is heading, that we forget that when it comes to the issues of gender and race and disability and all that sort of thing—we’re dealing with people who have burning questions, who need Gospel guidance in particularly sensitive aspects of their lives. And if we reduce their stories and who they are to the background of some kind of cultural or political moment, then we haven’t done them a service, you know? We have erased their particularity in favor of something that’s much more manageable. And I would advise anybody who wants to be a pastor, counselor, minister of any kind not to do that—to care about the individual. I mean, I’m going to quote Ted Lasso again! [LAUGHTER] I’m going to say “All people are different people,” right? And know that if you’ve met somebody who is struggling with, say, a question about trans, don’t allow their story to bleed into some sort of cultural narrative. Care about them as an individual. And learn what they love—yeah, find out what they care about. Find out the things that make them brave. And in so doing, establish the sorts of vibrant relationships of compassion and care that will allow us to take steps forward that are constructive.

Knight
[00:20:11] That’s such a good word. Thank you so much, Fellipe.

Arcadi
Yeah, thanks.

Do Vale
Yeah. Thanks for asking. Well, so is it my turn—

Knight
It is your turn.

Do Vale
—to take matters into my own hands, right?

Arcadi
Well, it’s only fair.

Knight
Phew!

Do Vale
So I am not just like this but I’m a host. So I’m going to turn the tables on all of you and ask you a series of questions. [PIERCE LAUGHS] And nobody knows that I’m doing this. This is all ad hoc, so here we go. My questions for you will take the form of “would you rathers.” [LAUGHTER]

Knight
[KNIGHT] Oh no!

Do Vale
So I’m going to begin with James. And you can’t think about this.

Arcadi
Oh.

Knight
Oh no.

Do Vale
This is from the hip; off the cuff; if you hesitate, you’ll get a buzzer. [PIERCE LAUGHS]

Jipp
No puns. No puns.

Arcadi
Well, I’ll do what I can.

Knight
Josh, you’re in charge of the buzzer.

Do Vale
Alright, James—

Jipp
Okay, and the buzzer is puns or if someone is thinking too hard. Then I’m going to—

Knight
Correct.

Jipp
Okay. I’m ready.

Knight
I’m going to—actually, I totally regret saying that.

Arcadi
Do you want a rationale, or just—

Do Vale
Yeah, you can give me the answer. If you want to elaborate, you can.

Arcadi
Okay. I’m ready.

Do Vale
The more the merrier. But I need the answer. Okay. Would you rather live in California but never see the sun, or live in the Midwest, but only be able to go out when it’s 25 degrees or less?

Arcadi
California. No sun. [KNIGHT LAUGHS]

Pierce
That was easy. [LAUGHS]

Do Vale
Really?

Arcadi
No question.

Do Vale
The thing you like best about California you would never get to see. You’d be okay with that?

Arcadi
I mean, there’s so much more than just the sun.

Jipp
You have the Orange County punk scene, right?

Pierce
Yeah. Avocados.

Arcadi
Well, when it’s cloudy but still 75 degrees, for instance.

Do Vale
Okay, yeah.

Knight
But you’re saying that the sunless California is still 75 degrees?

Arcadi
Uh, yeah! Sure!

Knight
Oh, okay. That seems improbable, scientifically.

Arcadi
A sunless California is better than 25 degree Midwest.

Knight
Okay.

Do Vale
Okay.

Arcadi
Although, I would say I do appreciate a nice, crisp winter air with, you know, with the sun shining and everything. That’s nice.

Do Vale
Okay.

Knight
Does everybody else feel personally attacked by that answer?

Pierce
I’m from Texas, so no. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
Alright, James. Your second “would you rather?”

Arcadi
Oh, I have two?!

Do Vale
Yeah. You each have two. You each have two.

Arcadi
Okay. Alright. I was pretty quick, though, wasn’t I?

Jipp
Yeah, you were great. I wasn’t even close to using the buzzer.

Do Vale
I want to—yeah, I’ll let you—you’re wading in slowly, but second question [ARCADI LAUGHS]: Would you rather never be stuck in traffic again—I know you drive quite a bit from Wheaton—

Arcadi
I do.

Do Vale
—never be stuck in traffic again or never get another cold?

Knight
Josh, you’re in charge of the buzzer.

Arcadi
I would rather never get another cold.

Jipp
Yeah.

Do Vale
You get pretty bad colds?

Arcadi
I do get some bad colds, yeah. And I just don’t like the annoyance of them. And the annoyance of being in traffic—maybe I’m used to it from my life in California—

Do Vale
Okay. That’s fair. [LAUGHS]

Arcadi
—but I think getting a cold is way more annoying than sitting in traffic—in my humble opinion.

Knight
Does anybody else feel like now that—I think we’re all parents—does anybody else feel like all of a sudden colds are just what you have all the time?

Do Vale
Absolutely.

Knight
Or am I, like, doing parenting wrong?

Arcadi
Oh, no, we’ve got five people in our family. We’ve got three kids. So it just goes one after another. And it turns out, “Well, we were sick for like six weeks,” you know?

Knight
Yeah, okay.

Jipp
Do you find it worse when they’re littler?

Do Vale
Yes.

Arcadi
Yeah.

Jipp
I mean, for—I feel like it’s not as bad as it was for us.

Knight
That’s because they’re doing things like lick things.

Jipp
Yeah. [LAUGHTER]

Knight
Like, my son—we were out to dinner with the Pierces and my son was literally licking a chair in the age of COVID.

Pierce
He was. He was.

Knight
And I was like, “Please…we’re all gonna die.” [LAUGHTER]

Arcadi
He’s building up immunity, right? That’s what it is.

Knight
Lord have mercy.

Arcadi
You’ve got little doses there. He’s, like, vaccinating himself.

Jipp
Yeah, totally.

Knight
Yeah. Good.

Do Vale
Just, that’s kind of gross. [LAUGHTER]

Knight
[LAUGHS] Yeah, I know! I needed a witness! I needed someone beyond just Madison to know about the chaos I’m dealing with.

Do Vale
Alright, well.

Arcadi
Fair questions. Thanks!

Knight
You did good, James.

Do Vale
Alright. Michelle.

Knight
Sir.

Do Vale
I know you like tech.

Knight
[LAUGHS] I love it so much.

Do Vale
I know you like tech. Would you have a completely automated home—like, you know, Smart House: Disney Channel Original Movie. Do you know that one?

Knight
I do! But this is a hypothetical reality?

Do Vale
Yeah, Smart House. Yeah, this is a… and it doesn’t turn on you. So it’s a positive Smart House. Or a self-driving car? Fully automated home—

Knight
I want…house. Home. For sure.

Do Vale
Why?

Knight
Part of this is because my husband’s the one responsible for driving most of the time. It’s not like…

Do Vale
You already have an automated car. [LAUGHTER]

Knight
I already have an automated car. I very rarely have to drive. But, at home—yeah, because home is where chaos is. The car—the toddler’s contained, and like everybody’s doing their thing. We’re going to one place. So it is kind of, like—it’s fine. I have the energy to drive the car; I have the focus to drive the car. At home, I have neither the energy nor the focus to, like, turn things off or remember to turn things on.

Do Vale
Do you have an ideal feature of a smart house that you would want—or that you would use the most?

Knight
[00:24:45] I mean, let me be clear that I have a pretty smart house. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
Do you? Okay, okay.

Knight
Like, you don’t know this about me. But like, when I walk into my house, it turns on like, my coffee machine, it turns on the lights…

Do Vale
You walk in and it does that automatically?

Knight
Yes. I use GeoFencing and it adjusts my thermostat—

Do Vale
What? GeoFencing? What is that?

Jipp
Yeah, you’re…I’m getting lost.

Knight
To be clear, you guys all look at me like I’m crazy—the Pierces are there too.

Do Vale
Okay.

Knight
But, like, when I, you know, I tell it “goodnight,” and it arms the alarm and it does this and it shuts the garage door—

Do Vale
When you say the words “goodnight”—

Knight
To Alexa, yeah.

Do Vale
—to Alexa, it goes, “I know what that means.”

Knight
No, she says, “Goodnight.”

Do Vale
And she understands—

Knight
And then she does everything.

Do Vale
Secures the perimeter, the GeoFencing—

Knight
Yeah. She turns on the sound machines, she adjusts the thermostat, she changes the lighting, she locks the front door…

Arcadi
Wow.

Do Vale
Wow, so this was settled before. I shouldn’t have even asked this question. [LAUGHTER]

Arcadi
“Please describe your house.”

Knight
When you asked—[LAUGHS] this is my life—

Do Vale
Just, live your life right now, yeah.

Knight
But it’s like, I love it because I don’t have—I don’t know about anyone—I don’t have brain space to remember things beyond, like, keeping my kid healthy and my discipline.

Do Vale
Yeah.

Knight
There’s no other brain space. So things like remembering to lock the front door—nobody’s got time.

Do Vale
One last follow up: how much money would someone, or myself, have to pay you to make my house smart? [ARCADI LAUGHS]

Knight
I can’t. I won’t do that.

Do Vale
You won’t?

Knight
No! You know why? Madison will do it for you.

Pierce
I’d love that.

Knight
Here’s why: I mean, the idea of setting it up is very fun—

Do Vale
I’m a little offended, actually.

Knight
—but I’m nervous about being on…I’m a little nervous about being on ongoing tech support.

Do Vale
Oh, okay. Yeah.

Jipp
You think you’d be on a leash?

Knight
So, I have been perpetually… perpetually—there’s two or three people I’ve done that kind of work for. I’ve never escaped their…

Do Vale
Their grasp.

Knight
Yeah.

Arcadi
They call Alexa or they call Michelle.

Knight
Yeah. That’s a little nerve wracking for me.

Do Vale
Or I could just say, “Hey, Michelle! Lock my house!” and you do it for me? [LAUGHTER]

Knight
Yeah. But at this point, it sounds like Madison is your girl. So you’re going to be okay.

Do Vale
Okay. Alright. Second question: this is also house related. I don’t know why I did two house questions.

Knight
It’s cool. I’ll take it.

Do Vale
Would you rather live in a cave or live in a tree house?

Knight
Tree house.

Do Vale
This is like the “anti-smart house” question.

Knight
Tree house. Because of The Swiss Family Robinson.

Arcadi
Oh, okay!

Knight
Like, I mean, it idealized the tree house situation. Now, here’s the irony in that situation: I don’t love heights. So I recognize that it would need to be, like, a certain kind of tree.

Arcadi
Short tree.

Do Vale
Wait, no, no, no a tree house is going to be off the ground.

Pierce
Or bugs. Or birds.

Do Vale
Yeah. Raccoons.

Knight
Well, right! But in a cave, all of those things exist, but it’s like, dark, and you don’t know that they’re coming, and it’s a grosser kind of bug than the bugs that live in the trees.

Pierce
Well, it depends. Are these two questions in the same story world? Does Michelle have a smart cave?—

Do Vale
It can be. I mean, do you want a smart tree? Yeah.

Knight
[LAUGHS] If I had, like, a well-lit cave, I’d be into it. But I’m nervous about dark and dank. Also humidity is not good for my hair.

Do Vale
Yeah. I saw a video recently of a guy who carved himself a house out of a cave, like out of a stone wall, and he, like, made a stone table and everything—

Knight
That’s very cool.

Do Vale
—a fully functioning kitchen.

Knight
Was excalibur in there? I hope not.

Do Vale
[LAUGHS] No. He was in Taiwan, I think. But anyway.

Knight
Amazing. I think I’m still going tree house. Swiss Family Robinson style.

Do Vale
Okay. Cool. Alright. Madison, would you rather—this is similar to the question you asked me. So you asked me a T.V. question and I’ll ask you a T.V. question. Would you rather watch only one T.V. show for the rest of your life or only be able to watch episodes once? You could never repeat episodes.

Jipp
Bzzz!! [LAUGHTER]

Pierce
The first. The first.

Do Vale
The first, yeah? Only watch one T.V. show—

Pierce
As long as I get to pick it. It might be Parks and Rec.

Do Vale
Yeah? It does hold up. It does hold up. Okay. Would you rather give up all drinks except for water? Right, yeah. Or give up anything that was cooked in an oven?

Pierce
Uh, oven.

Do Vale
You would eat things—only things that were not cooked in an oven.

Pierce
Yeah.

Do Vale
Really?

Pierce
Yeah.

Do Vale
Is that a lot of things on your mind?

Pierce
Yeah.

Do Vale
Okay.

Pierce
We have a new smoker. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
Oh!

Jipp
I was thinking that too. You could grill—

Pierce
Grill…yeah.

Do Vale
Does that count as an oven, though? Like…

Pierce
So Curtis just got a new smoker, and he’s making some delicious things. But my dad also exclusively cooks on the grill and can do quite a bit. That seems reasonable to me. And pots? You’re not talking about the stove. You’re just saying the “oven.” So, I mean, microwave is still a thing.

Do Vale
You’re finding all of the loopholes; wow. [LAUGHTER]—

Pierce
Airfryer—

Do Vale
Wow. I did not think through all of these.

Knight
Fellipe, you are talking to a camper extraordinaire, also.

Do Vale
That’s true.

Knight
Madison is, like, ready to live over the campfire, if necessary.

Do Vale
Could you, I mean, like—you have a pan—

Pierce
Mmhmm.

Do Vale
—and some sticks and some bits of rock. [LAUGHTER]

Knight
From my cave. Yeah.

Do Vale
From Michelle’s treehouse and cave combo. Could you make a meal? Like…

Pierce
Yeah!

Do Vale
Really? Wow.

Pierce
I mean, I’m not going to eat the rocks. There’s a parable about that. But yeah.

Do Vale
But you’d have to forage and hunt.

Arcadi
Can we do “Forewording from the campsite” eventually, here?

Do Vale
Yeah, there you go.

Knight
Ooh. I don’t want to do that.

Arcadi
[LAUGHS] Oh, you don’t!

Knight
That’s a hard pass.

Pierce
I would. Parkour. Yep.

Do Vale
Okay. Finally, Josh—

Jipp
Yes.

Do Vale
Will somebody—maybe James, you can buzz him if he takes too long.

Arcadi
Oh, sure.

Do Vale
Because he was a little aggressive on that last one.

Knight
He was.

Jipp
I wanted to use it at least one time.

Knight
[00:30:05] And you were just running out of opportunities.

Jipp
Yeah.

Knight
Poor Madison.

Jipp
There was a little delay. [LAUGHS]

Pierce
Always bullying me, Josh. [LAUGHTER]

Arcadi
No grace, here.

Knight
No.

Do Vale
So, you’re a music guy, right? You know the “Music” app on the iPhone.

Jipp
I know some music that I like, yeah. [KNIGHT LAUGHS]

Do Vale
Yeah. Okay. So this is—

Jipp
Not all the cool music.

Pierce
Doesn’t know The Roots. Doesn’t know The Roots—learned that beforehand.

Do Vale
Well, it’s impossible to know all of the cool music.

Jipp
Yeah.

Do Vale
I mean, God knows all the cool music, but I wouldn’t imagine anybody else. Would you rather be forced to dance every time you heard music, or forced to sing along to any song you heard—assuming you know the words intuitively?

Pierce
That’s a good one.

Jipp
Probably forced to dance.

Do Vale
Yeah? You got moves?

Jipp
I mean, I don’t know if other people like them, or if they’re—yeah, but I mean, I definitely have, yeah…

Do Vale
You got moves?

Jipp
Yeah, you could ask my kids, you know, who are in my office—

Arcadi
Wouldn’t you rather just do both, though? Wouldn’t you? I mean…

Jipp
I was thinking, like, there was going to be some sort of a zero-sum-game involved here, but it’s like, yeah, both of those sound great!

Do Vale
That’s fair. So you’re at a wedding, you know, people are getting loose, getting funky, what’s a go-to Josh dance move—wedding dance floor?

Jipp
I don’t know if it has a name. [LAUGHTER] You know, these are things.

Do Vale
[LAUGHS] We have new cameras!

Knight
He’s got one in mind. [LAUGHS]

Jipp
I mean, I’m probably going to some of, like, [DEMONSTRATES MOVE].

Do Vale
You start with the fingers, okay!

Knight
The fingers!

Pierce
That’s just a dad dance.—

Jipp
Well, I can’t really, like, dance on the—should I get on the table?

Knight
Don’t do that. That’s completely inappropriate.—

Pierce
I mean, you can, but that looks like a dad dance. It’s like a kind of [EMULATES MOVE]—

Jipp
Yeah. Maybe it is a dad dance—I am a dad with three kids.

Knight
Sure.

Jipp
I listen to dad music.

Knight
What does “dad music” consist of?

Jipp
Well, I would say, like, classic “dad music” would be, like, Wilco.

Knight
Okay.

Pierce
Really? Okay.

Knight
Wow. That’s not where I was going.

Jipp
Jeff Tweedy, like, mid-50’s and most—I mean, I don’t think teenagers in high school and college kids—maybe the cool ones, but—

Do Vale
When I think of “dad music,” I don’t think of Wilco, though.

Knight
No.

Pierce
No. We’re thinking of our dads here.

Knight
Yeah, exactly. I’m thinking of my father.

Jipp
They even on their… well, I’ll show you later—

Do Vale
I think of, like—

Jipp
They on their—on Father’s Day—they always make fun of themselves. But, I mean, I don’t know if they’re making fun of themselves, but it’s like, “dad.” “Dad Rock.”

Do Vale
Okay. I think of Kenny G. when I think of “dad music,” you know?

Jipp
Oh.

Pierce
Chicago.

Do Vale
Chicago. Yeah, Chicago’s “dad music.”

Knight
Chicago’s what I was thinking…Boston…

Jipp
I think it’s passed on, because dads are younger now. I don’t think that many dads are listening to Chicago.

Do Vale
Yeah.

Pierce
Curtis is.

Jipp
Da da da dum dum [SINGS A TUNE].

Arcadi
I’m not.

Jipp
You know that song?

Pierce
That was “25 or 6 to 4.”

Knight
That was really good, Josh.

Do Vale
“Saturday in the Park”? Is that what you’re doing there?

Jipp
Yeah…yeah, that is what it is. Yeah. Right?

Pierce
That’s “25 or 6 to 4.”

Do Vale
Oh, “25 or 6 to 4.”

Jipp
[SINGS AGAIN] Yeah, you’re right.

Do Vale
That’s the rock and role one.

Jipp
[SINGS] 25 or 6 to…Saturday…

Do Vale
[LAUGHS] Yeah.

Jipp
Let’s all sing together! [LAUGHTER]

Knight
I think we should not. [LAUGHTER]

Jipp
My goal is to, like, annoy Michelle by the end. [LAUGHS]

Knight
Crushed it! [LAUGHTER]

Jipp
“The best!” Alright.

Do Vale
Alright, Josh.

Jipp
One more for me?

Do Vale
Yeah. This is…this is good.

Jipp
Alright.

Do Vale
Would you rather be a reverse-centaur [LAUGHTER], or a reverse-merman? So…horse on top, person bottom; or fish on top, person bottom.

Jipp
Yeah, I know—horse on top—hold off on the buzzer, James! Okay, so, horse on top and person on bottom, and what was the other one?

Pierce
Did you bring diagrams?

Jipp
What was the other one?

Do Vale
Fish—or merman. So fish on top, person bottom.

Jipp
[SIGHS] I guess I’m going to go with the reverse-centaur.

Do Vale
Yeah, that’s probably good.

Jipp
I don’t have a lot of justification for it, but—why is this a bad decision, Michelle?

Knight
No, I just…that was quicker than I expected. I just feel like there needed—you need to get buzzed on a question like this. There’s a lot at stake.

Arcadi
I was trying to envision it. I mean, I was trying to envision it myself—kind of horse and fish and—

Pierce
Two horse arms?

Do Vale
Yeah, so—

Pierce
So these are hooves—

Do Vale
Yeah, those are hooves.

Pierce
—and then you have legs.

Do Vale
And then you have legs.

Pierce
Wow.

Do Vale
So the website I got these from actually had pictures—

Arcadi
That’s what I needed.

Knight
We needed it visually.

Do Vale
—and they’re both horrifying.

Pierce
Yeah.

Knight
Yeah, that’s—

Do Vale
Like, the fish on top is like—

Knight
You don’t have arms!

Do Vale
—so you’re vertical. Like, the fish is—fishes are like that way, right?

Arcadi
You have fins, probably, right?

Knight
Do you only have fins if you’re a fish on top?

Do Vale
Yeah.

Arcadi
But legs.

Knight
Okay, so that’s prohibitive.

Jipp
Either one you choose, there’s going to be a lot of practical, real-life consequences. Yeah.

Do Vale
There are, sure. Yeah. If you were half-centaur, you would be a real naysayer. [ARCADI LAUGHS]

Pierce
Whoaaaa.

Knight
Wooooow.

Arcadi
He’s going to fit in great. [LAUGHTER]

Knight
Yay for that.

Jipp
Well, thank you. That was great puns and great questions.

Do Vale
Thanks. Thanks. [LAUGHS]

Knight
The whole thing.

Jipp
I feel like you really got to know me better with that last one, too.

Do Vale
I did. Yeah, I did.

Pierce
This is everything we need to know.

Jipp
Yep.

[THEME MUSIC BEGINS]

Pierce
Well, with that, I think we’ve had a great time getting to know Fellipe. [Turns to Fellipe] We’re really excited to welcome you to TEDS and to learn more about you, and we’re certainly excited for our students to benefit from your wisdom and your cultural knowledge. [LAUGHTER]

Do Vale
Well, it’s an absolute pleasure to be here and to join you.

Pierce
Wonderful. Well, that’s just the Foreword. I’m Madison Pierce.

Do Vale
I’m Fellipe do Vale.

Knight
I’m Michelle Knight.

Arcadi
I’m James Arcadi.

Jipp
And I am Josh Jipp.

Pierce
Thanks, y’all.

Outro
Foreword is a podcast hosted by faculty at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The views expressed by the hosts and guests of Foreword do not necessarily represent the views of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. You can subscribe to our newest episodes on your preferred podcast app or at forewordpodcast.com. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook @forewordpodcast to get updates and additional links to content. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is located 25 miles north of Chicago, with extension sites across the country and online. Trinity educates men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning. You can find more information at teds.edu.

[THEME MUSIC ENDS]

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